The Polar Vortex: Grilling Weather in Chicago

"While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best." ~former U.S. House Rep.Tom Allen, Maine

"Winter is not a season,it's an occupation." ~Sinclair Lewis

With all due respect to former Rep. Allen (quoted above), while I agree that winter DOES form our character, whether it brings out our best is debatable, if driving etiquette is any indicator.

With all of February still ahead of us, The Chicago Tribune is already editorializing on this season being possibly 'The Worst Winter Ever'™. Not even halfway into into this winter of 2014 and it's already shaping up to be one of the coldest on record in a city known for its fierce winters. At Lincoln Park Zoo, even the polar bears huddled inside to avoid the sub-zero temperatures of the past few weeks.

The polar vortex has brought us a 1-2 punch of near record snow, arctic temperatures, and fodder for climate change deniers' bogus arguments. Funny how an obscure meteorological term around since at least 1950 can so quickly become part of our daily conversation.

Through all of this, Chicagoans have a tough reputation as winter spartans to uphold. So even though our home team may be absent from this year's Superbowl, let's fire up those grills for a weekend barbecue and show that Chicagoans won't let winter get us down. Just be sure to keep that shovel handy for the 6-8 more inches of predicted snowfall. (UGH!)